Maplehurst Ramblings


January has been and gone and the muse seems to have deserted me. Still, if I don't produce something likely to bump along the shoreline of the libel law coastline, Dave Toye has promised (i.e. threatened) to "find" those mislaid photographs of me 

1) The Pocket Battleship (literally!)
I recently came upon a rather interesting little device on the Internet. After the high-jinks at the mosque in North London where a "stun gun" was found, I chanced upon the following choice item for sale in London (apparently). To check out this little gem, access this link and dream about being RH13's answer to Charles Bronson!
Seriously, though, these devices are apparently illegal in the UK - it doesn't stop the criminal fraternity from possessing them, though, does it???
Disclaimer:- Dave Toye says that children reading this column ought to know better, but if they insist on buying and using these gadgets then can they please have an adult with them at all times…..

2) The lovely Idris Shabani 

Over Christmas I received a rather interesting e-mail from a gentleman purporting to be a Nigerian businessman. Interesting I thought. Then I read the e-mail and was left cold. 
Basically, old Idris reckons to have a stash of dodgy loot hidden away and needs my help to get it out of the country. For a few hours of my time in this most lucrative of private enterprises, I would be handsomely rewarded in hard cash. Hurrah you might think. The cynics would argue that it sounds too good to be true. They would be right - it is.
Idris is working an old scam called the Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud (also known as a section 417 fraud)- check out the details on the internet for further explanation. Basically, you give him your signature and bank account details and leave the rest to him. His organisation claims that they have to institute a business relationship and take a small amount of money from your account to commence proceeds. Vast riches are promised, only they never appear. Over the next weeks, more and more money is debited on the promise that "things need oiling" and eventually the brothers disappear into darkest Biafra with all your money, never to be seen again. Countless hapless individuals have been ruined financially this way - including a local businessman who is now serving a stretch for fraud. These people must be as gullible as the fools who signed up for "Women empowering Women"!
The simple advice is don't do it. Ask Crimestoppers - they will tell you! 

Here is nice Idris Shabani's e-mail:-


Dear Sir,


First, I must Solicit your strictest confidence in this transaction, this is by virtue of it's nature as being utterly confidential and top secret as you were introduced to me in confidence through the Nigerian Chamber s of Commerce, foreign trade division .

I am Dr.Idiris Shabani the Foreign Liaison Officer of the board of trustee of RWA Agency ( Relief West Africa). We were empowered to administer a trust fund of well over five hundred million United States dollars ( US$500,000,000M) for the provision of relief materials to troubled areas in the West African Sub-region and her environs.

My group recently agreed, unanimously to transfer twenty-three million, six hundred and ninety thousand United States dollars only ( US$23,690M) into a foreign based account for our personal use and benefits and I have therefore been mandated as a
matter of trust by my colleagues on board to look for an overseas partner to whom we could transfer the sum of US$23,690M legally subcontracting the entitlement to your company. This is based on the fact that our civil service code of conduct forbids us from owning foreign company or running private foreign account while in government service.

The simple mode of the transaction will be just for us to apply for the release of the funds to you or to your company for welfare materials purportedly supplied. We shall arrange all paper work and get approval for the release of the funds with documentary
evidence of the communities and people in Liberia, Sierra-Leone, Rwanda, Guinea-Bissau, Zaire and Nigeria, who have all benefited from the materials purportedly supplied by You, early last year. We have all records of purchases and supplies.

My group is very much ready to effecting the remittance of the fund into a well secured or corporate foreign account ( individual or corporate ) operated by a trust worthy person, as all logistics are already in place and all modalities worked out for the smooth conclusion of the transaction within seven to ten working days upon commencement on receipt of your company name, address, company's details &
activities & your direct confidential telephone and fax line for correspondence.

This information will enable us make the necessary applications and lodge claims to the concerned authorities in favour of your company and it is pertinent to state here that this transaction is entirely based on trust as the solar bank draft or certified cheque drawable will be made in your name and we wish to commence an importation business of agro-allied machineries in conjunction with you.

Your assistance or partnership will certainly, be rewarded with a 20% share ratio of the total sum of (US$23,690M). We shall have 70%, While 10% will be used to reimburse both parties for any expenses incurred in the course of consummating this deal. It is important to state here, that no risk of any sort is involved, now or in future since both parties will be protected by a legally signed agreement.

Please, note that an invoice shall be raised to meet the cost of materials purportedly supplied by You to the tune of US$23,690m and forwarded to the office of the Chief Accountant of RWA Agency after the final approval has been given by me for payment. The materials are cloths of various kinds (children & Adults), rice, soya beans, milk, sugar, ort salt, drugs, blankets, footwears, boots, syringe and needles, epz vaccines, tarpuline tents,e.t.a. 
Please acknowledge the receipt of this letter using the above e-mail: 

Yours truly,
Dr.Idiris Shabani.

N.B-Bank Account Details not necessary as preferred mode of payment is by draft or cheque.

PS - Despite having my e-mail address, old Dr Shabani has gone mysteriously quiet on me!

3) The New Battle of Britain
A new Battle of Britain is underway, but this time the enemy isn't flying Stukas. Unfortunately the enemy is within and is a class of people who seem hell-bent on destroying Britain and all that she stands for.
Check out the website and see for yourself - a group of "celebrities" ( don't you just hate that expression) is leading the fight which should prove to have a far-reaching constitutional impact. I understand that the initial hearing was not fruitful, althought his is subject to an appeal. Good luck boys and girls, show the Herr Blair bunch you mean business.

Simon and Malcolm Wassailing Apple trees!!4) Wassailing apple trees.
The epiphany saw most of the three hamlets turn out at The White Horse and march up the road in a candle-lit procession (evoking the good old days of witch-burning) to John Bacheldores cider emporium. 
The object of this exercise was not to immolate some unfortunate old wretch but to bless the apple trees and thus ensure a bumper harvest this year. The night was pretty damn cold so we all fuelled up on Cider in John's workshop and commenced proceedings. Dave Toye was late (something to do with being drunk in a gutter in Dublin I understand) and I am indebted to a gentleman called "Peter" (who plays the Jews harp in an Appalachian band no less) for taking photographs of the evenings festivities. Here is one of yours truly making friends with a young man called Malcolm. We sang songs, set off firecrackers, walloped the trees and trooped back to the White Horse for the Mummers Play. I had to leave at this point but I am sure DT will write a short piece to fill you in on the proceedings thereafter. (see the forum DT)

5) Las Vegas sur Mer
I am deeply indebted to the good residents of Maplehurst & Nuthurst for dipping into their pockets and providing us all with a free light show around the festive season. The resulting neon cavalcade would have put Sunset Strip in the shade. Well done to everyone and thanks for saving me the cost of buying any Christmas lights!

6) Obituary.
It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Marilyn Monroe. No,Marilyn Monroe not the 50's screen legend but our own prize winning bantam. After a long illness (well a week) she was put out to grass by the esteemed Alan Jones (FRCVS) in Turners Hill. Although he offered us the opportunity to attempt to save her life with surgery, we decided that it was kinder to let her flutter off on a sunbeam ( like Winston Churchill, I didn't fancy eating the flesh of an animal I was on first name terms with!). Unlike the lady I met during the Christmas break who had spent £2,000 on giving one of her ducks a hysterectomy. You couldn't make it up.

7) Guest Book surprises.
A few months ago, I wrote about the wedding from hell in rural Canada. Look what appeared on the Sedgwick Park guestbook recently from one Roger Mcfallon….. 

Born in Wallasey, Cheshire. Now live near Caroline in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. 
I read Simon McClean's Maplehurst Ramblings and found that he had included (23 June, coincidentally, my birthday) my story of the Canadian Prairie Wedding, which had been published in The Spectator in May. I had sent the story to the low (40,000) circulation Spectator because I would have been guest of honour at a lynching had it been published here. Now, I find that, one way or another it has made it's way around the world. 
Greetings from Alberta. Have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous and healthy 2003. 

Thank you for those nice comments Roger, lets hope the lynching is a long time off yet!

Also, while surfing the Guestbook I came across another interesting little comment:-

Today, 25th January 2003, I attended the XXXX Farm and XXXX Farm shoot. This for me is a day to relax and get away from the worries and stress involved in keeping my family farm out of debt due to the current state of British farming. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be a stress-free day! While standing on one of the pheasant drives at Home Farm shoot I was repeatedly called a bastard by who I can only imagine was a hormonal horsy woman and I would like to say at this point that I am more than aware of whom my father is. Clearly this woman has moved into the countryside and has no respect for the people she has to share it with. I know the farm was there a long time before she was with her horses, and I find it extremely selfish that she cannot tolerate a shoot which has happened twice near her property in the last 3 months. Most of the farms in Sedgewick (sic), more than likely, have a bridle-way through their (sic) fields where we the farmers have livestock and are trying to make a living. Yet we put up with people riding through the pastures when it is very wet, with their dogs running out of control amongst livestock. These people clearly have no idea of how to behave in the countryside. I would like to stress that we are trying to make a living and horse riding is merely a leisure activity, much like a pheasant shoot. I'd also like to ask this ignorant, abusive lady what she plans to do next time there is a thunder storm - which also makes loud bangs. Only a fool would assume that you can protect a horse from loud noises throughout its life!!!

Hmm, I reckon that one should go on the forum. (I have now deleted it from the guest book amended the farm names as requested by the owner. It also appeared in the forum as it should have done in the first place. DT)

8) The Lost Prince (or, Save the best until last)

Did anyone see the Lost Prince over the last two weeks on television. I have to say that Dave Toye, Douggie Rae and Peter Setterfield looked resplendent in all their Edwardian finery. Dave got a good bit of media exposure, along with Peter "Von Trapp" Setterfield - who seems to have stolen my moment of glory- She Who Must Be Obeyed (at least by me, anyhow) did point out that David's fleshy coloured earplugs were clearly visible (unlike his coiffure!!). Well done gentlemen - I heard a nasty rumour that you would be buying drinks for all your groupies for the next few months. (I'll buy you a drink when I get the curry you promised me months ago! DT)

It gets better next month (well, it couldn't get worse) :-

The crazy World of Geopathic Stress consulting
Goodbye 192, hello more revenue for BT 
Guardianlies and the libel laws
Summer Clay pigeon Shoot
The Forum
Copsale Wine Tasting

Simon  McClean 2nd Feb 2003    last months MR's


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